MNRE provides new clarifications for rooftop solar programme

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a clarification for the second phase of its rooftop solar programme under which distribution companies or its authorised agencies will invite expressions of interest for empanelling the agencies to supply, install, test, and commission rooftop solar systems in residential premises. However, to ensure the quality and post-installation services, only manufacturers of solar panels and system integrators who fulfil the pre-determined technical and financial criteria will be eligible to participate in the bidding process. The ministry has now clarified that all the bidders within the lowest bid price bracket will be empanelled and will provide services to the consumers at the lowest agreed tariff rate. Further, the central financial assistance for group housing societies or residential welfare associations will be limited to 20 per cent.

In September 2019, the MNRE issued guidelines to implement the second phase of the rooftop solar programme. The government has set a target to install 100,000 MW of solar power capacity by 2022, of which 40,000 MW is to be achieved from the rooftop solar segment. It approved the second phase of the programme, comprising two main components, in February 2019. Under the first component, 4,000 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects will be installed in the residential sector with central financial assistance. Under the second component, incentives will be provided to distribution companies based on their achievements in the initial 18,000 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar plants.

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